The first gameplay demo of Halo Infinite spawned one of 2020’s top memes: Craig, the deadpan Brute. The meme, which took on a life of its own and earned the approval of Xbox’s Phil Spencer, was tied in with the criticism that this gameplay demo attracted–Craig’s cold, uncaring eyes were emblematic of the less-than-stellar visuals on display in the video.
Now, 343 Industries has delved into the game in a new Halo Waypoint update, and there’s news on Craig. Neill Harrison, the director of art management at 343 Industries, has revealed that the Brute will look very different in the final game, and that the version we saw was far from a finished model.
“Firstly, I can confirm that the facial animation on NPCs was not fully implemented in that build, which resulted in Craig’s incredibly deadpan/lifeless look,” Harrison says. “All characters are modelled in a neutral pose, prior to blendshapes & animation being applied. So, poor old Craig was never intended to be seen in that condition which is not something that was evident during the gameplay.”
Craig’s face is actually a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the trailer, but the screenshot of his face has become infamous. “It was only later, in the close-up freeze frame of his one bad moment, where it came to light and the legend of Craig was born,” he says.
“There’s been further work done on the material fidelity and more variety added for Brute faces, we’re also working to add some hairdos and beards which was something we hadn’t gotten to in July,” Harrison continues. “So, whilst we have come to love our dear old Craig, he’s certainly undergoing a significant makeover.”
All models have seen similar improvements, and the game is certainly looking a lot better now. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised if Craig appears somewhere in the game as an Easter egg.